How to heal yourself and resolve the health care crisis – Dr. T. Colin Campbell

Dr. T. Colin CampbellIt’s no secret that the United States has a health care crisis. In this TED Talk, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University and co-author of several nutrition books including The China Study and Whole, shares his view on how we can each heal ourselves and tackle the health crisis in our country.

View the video on YouTube.

Here are some key take-aways from his talk:

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How your thoughts and emotions influence your health

Example of Human Energy Field from "Hands of Light" by Barbara Ann Brennan

Example of Human Energy Field from “Hands of Light” by Barbara Ann Brennan

Everything is energy.

This is a simple statement with profound implications. Everything in the universe is made up of atoms and molecules, contains information and vibrates at a certain frequency. But most of us go about our daily lives not really thinking about the fact they we are energetic beings with a human energy field (EF) surrounding us. After all, we feel solid. We have bones, muscles, organs, glands and blood flowing through our arteries and veins. But we are 100% energy – just like animals, plants, rocks, mountains, buildings, and books. Even your thoughts and emotions are a form of energy. Positive emotions like love and joy have a high vibration and negative emotions like fear, guilt, anger and self-doubt have a low vibration.

Why is this important to know?
Energy flows and attracts and is influenced by other energy. It is well documented that stress is linked to disease. We are bombarded each day with negative energy such as news stories about violence and war, pollution, stress at work, your own negative belief systems, addictions and even poor diet choices. If you are like most people, by the time you are in your early twenties (source: Caroline Cory), you have had years of programming your cells with thoughts like, “I am not wanted,” “I am responsible for my parents’ divorce,” “I don’t fit in,” “I’m confused about my life purpose,” and “I’m not good enough”. This negative energy gets registered in our bodies and damages the DNA in cells. Over time, it can lead to disease.

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no cancer sign

Are doctors paralyzed when it comes to cancer treatments?

I recently learned about the Citizens Health Cancer bill SB. 117 which will be introduced into the California State legislative cycle this year or in 2016. The bill is supported by Frank Cuny who is Executive Director of California Citizens for Health Freedom.

Apparently, physicians across the United States can run the risk of losing their medical license if they recommend options outside of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery for treating cancer patients. Although there are many cases of cancer patients being cured through non-toxic, non-invasive treatments and diet, see Our Journey with Prostate Cancer – A Wife’s Perspective, there is a lack of funding for these alternatives since they can’t be patented like drugs and therefore do not provide a monetary incentive for research. Treating cancer patients with traditional methods is very lucrative for medical centers, doctors, drug companies, and insurance carriers. For example, it is estimated that up to 70% of an oncologist’s income comes from selling chemo drugs and services.

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Video: How to feed 7 billion people

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to share a short video I created on the impact of our food choices on people, animals and the planet. Adopting a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet, promoting organic farming practices, and eliminating subsidies to farmers and fisheries can go a long way to help the health of humans, animals and our planet.


Our planet has over 7 billion people and the population is growing at 14% per year. We have 50% more people today than in 1980. 60% of humans are malnourished. Resources are stretched to the limit. How can we feed our growing population in a sustainable way?

99.7% of our food comes from land but our crop land is decreasing due to population growth, soil erosion and salinization. We could have 30% less irrigated crop land worldwide by 2025. Conventional farming practices use pesticides and herbicides which reduce the nutrient value of soil and create dead zones in our oceans where nothing can live. Organic farming is the best choice. It uses cover crops for natural fertilizer and builds nutrient-rich soil that stores water.

It takes far more water to raise animals for human consumption than to grow plant food for human consumption. A 1 lb. loaf of bread requires 250 gallons of water to produce, whereas 1 lb. of beef takes 5,000 gallons of water. You would save more water just by replacing a pound of beef with plant foods than you would by not showering for six months! It takes less water to produce one year’s worth of food for a completely plant-based diet than it does to produce one month’s worth of food for a diet with animal products.

As mentioned earlier, nitrogen fertilizers used on conventionally-grown crops run off into our coastal oceans, creating dead zones where nothing can live. In addition, many fish we eat are full of heavy metals like mercury. Over fishing is taking its toll. 75% of fisheries are in peril and there has been a 90% decline in prized fish like tuna and swordfish. We’ve maxed out the ocean and can only bring in 85 million metric tons of fish annually. Farmed fish is not the answer. It also creates dead zones from nitrogen fish food and the cramped conditions encourage disease.

The US government has been giving subsidies to farmers and fisheries for decades. Farmers paid by the government are forced to grow a single crop, such as corn. They get rid of their livestock and no longer have onsite fertilizer. They buy commercial fertilizer which damages our soil and oceans. Subsidies to cattle ranchers to produce cheap meat – increasing meat consumption and therefore water consumption. Subsidies to fisheries result in over fishing.  According to the World Trade Organization, US subsidies violate trade practices.

With a growing population of over 7 billion people, we are running out of land to grow food, running out of fresh water in many areas, ruining our coastal oceans and over fishing with some species near extinction. The status quo is unsustainable.
Here are 2 things you can do to help change the status quo.

  1. Take action! Recognize that we all own our planet: land, water, oceans and air. Encourage your government officials to ban subsidies to farmers and fisheries.
  2.  Eat an organic, 100% plant-based diet. It’s healthier for you, healthier for our land, healthier for our water and marine life and certainly better for the animals who are not killed for consumption by humans.


Diet and killer Diseases chart

Why adopt a whole food plant-based diet (WFPB) for cancer prevention and reversal?

Animal products (meat and dairy) promote cancer growth; plant foods prevent and can even reverse it. Regardless of your family history of cancer or other risk factors, you can significantly reduce the chance you will get it by adopting a 100% whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet.

What is cancer?

Cancer, in which cells in your body mutate, divide and spread, goes through three stages: initiation, promotion and progression. Initiation happens when chemicals capable of causing cancer, called carcinogens, are processed by the liver, turning them from fat soluble to water soluble where they can be excreted from the body. But sometimes these chemicals escape the process and because they are highly reactive, damage molecules like DNA, RNA and protein. If the damaged DNA is not repaired by the body’s immune system, it is permanently changed, causing a mutation. Promotion is when clones of these mutated cells replicate and cluster together over the years. In the progression stage, these clusters, or pre-cancer cells, grow and become tumors. If the tumors invade other tissue or parts of the body, then the cancer has metastasized.

What causes cancer?

In addition to chemicals, there are many factors that can lead to cancer’s development at any of the 3 stages. These include certain viruses, excessive radiation (including from sunlight), nutritional imbalances, obesity, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of physical exercise and stress.

Your genes (family history) are often implicated as a risk factor of cancer. However, according to a report published on the National Institutes of Health website, only 5-10% of cancer cases are due to family history, meaning that you are born with mutated genes. But many people suspect that it’s not your genes but how you were raised, the food you ate, the environment you grew up in, etc. that lead to certain cancers running in families. So the good news is that most cancer cases are due to environmental and lifestyle factors – things you can control.

We all have cancer cells that are initiated due to carcinogens, viruses, and lifestyle factors, but a strong immune system supported by proper nutrition can help control whether that cancer develops. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, co-author of The China Study and Whole, has stated that “nutritional imbalances are the most significant causes of cancer” and “…if we have genes that give rise to cancer, we can use nutrition to control the expression of these genes.”

The research:

Lab research conducted by Dr. Campbell showed that high doses of the animal protein casein, which is the primary protein in cow’s milk, promotes chemically induced liver cancer. Rats given a diet of 20% casein had their tumors grow, but when it was lowered to 5%, the tumors shrank.  This finding is consistent with earlier research conducted by Indian scientists Madhavan TV, and Gopalan C. in “The effect of dietary protein on carcinogenesis of aflatoxin.” So it turns out that cow’s milk is a carcinogen for humans!

Other findings and experts back up these studies:

What can you do to reduce your cancer risk?

  • Adopt a 100% WFPB diet
  • Be physically active at least 30 minutes per day
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Limit supplements, with the exception of Vitamin B12 for those on a 100% WFPB diet, or as recommended by your doctor
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks and salty, processed foods
  • Limit or avoid alcohol

Although there are no studies proving this, there are theories that “diet-induced acidosis may influence molecular activities at the cellular level that promote carcinogenesis or tumor progression.”  See our articles on how to balance your pH. Cancer ChartHere’s a link to a great chart published by PCRM about the benefits and risks of certain lifestyle choices and cancer.

In summary, regardless of your family history of cancer or other risk factors, you can significantly reduce the chance you will get it by adopting a WFPB diet. You have the power to heal from within!


Plant-based Nutrition Certification – T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

My sister-in-law, Kathy Parnay, and I co-founded 3 months ago, in January 2015. Our goal was to share information on the benefits of a whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet. Her husband, Stefan, cured himself of aggressive prostate cancer  on a low glycemic, alkalizing WFPB diet, so we had become believers in the healing power of food. I had already been a vegan since 2010 and a vegetarian for 18 years prior to that, so was eager to share tips and recipes with interested readers. Since that time, we have enjoyed a steady stream of global followers of our blog and “likes” on our Facebook page.

Wanting to learn more about plant-based nutrition to build my knowledge and credibility, I found the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS). CNS offers a six-week certification program in Plant-based Nutrition through Cornell’s online learning company, eCornell, so I quickly signed up.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes in the program. World-renowned experts Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of The Cleveland Clinic and Dr. John McDougall of the McDougall Center and others deliver the lectures. Teacher’s Assistants (TAs) grade assignments, provide additional information and encourage discussion among the students. Topics include nutrition fundamentals, diseases of affluence (such as cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and more), understanding and interpreting scientific research, the role of supplements and the impact of food production on the environment. I am happy to report that I completed the classes and received my certificate this week!

More on Dr. Campbell and CNS:

T. Colin Campbell (M.S., Ph.D.) is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. He has spent his entire career studying the effects of nutrition on long-term health, conducting lab studies and large-scale human (epidemiological) studies. The co-author of the ground-breaking book, The China Study, along with Whole and Low Carb Fraud, his work was featured in the popular documentary Forks Over Knives.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jenny Miller, Executive Director of CNS to learn more about the non-profit and the certification program. CNS was founded in 1997 by one of Dr. Campbell’s former students, Megan Murphy. The certificate program in plant-based nutrition offered through eCornell began in 2009. The program is one of the first offered and provides continuing medical education (CME) credits for health care professionals.

Over 6,000 students have completed the program with approximately 75% from the U.S. and the remaining in other countries, primarily Western Europe and Australia. Most students are heath care professionals, such as doctors, nurses and nutritionists, but there are many laypeople like myself – chefs, tech managers, accountants, etc. In the last year Ms. Miller has seen an increase in physicians and nurses taking the course, which she attributes to demand from patients.

CNS also launched a certification program called Nutrition for a Healthy Heart. Dr. Campbell’s son, and co-author of The China Study, Dr. Tom Campbell, just released a book called The Campbell Plan. His other son, Nelson Campbell, directed Plant Pure Nation, a documentary that will be released on July 4, 2015. Plant Pure Nation is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to get the documentary shown in as many venues as possible. Learn more and consider contributing.

In closing, it’s exciting to see that information on the health benefits of a WFPB lifestyle is gaining considerable attention among health care professionals and consumers. We are at a tipping point in changing the way people eat. A WFPB diet is healthier for us, healthier for our planet and better for the animals we no longer consume. Please join Kathy and me in spreading the word.